Yes, it’s just another Far Cry game. No, it’s not just another Far Cry game. Both of these statements are completely true and neither of them is a bad thing at all.
We love the Far Cry series. The first person combat. The open world sandbox . Liberating outposts. Crafting. Hunting. Riding wild animals. All of these elements are present in Primal, albeit stripped back to the bare essentials. The action is stripped back too though, and this is something the more run ‘n gun trigger happy types will either hate or, if they’re willing to stick it out, get used to and dare I say… enjoy? There’s something to be said for doing an enemy in using little more than a stick with a bit of stone tied to the end of it. It’s extremely up close and personal and something you just don’t get at the long end of a ranged firearm. The feeling is incredibly raw and a refreshing change of pace.
And what about the view! The environments in Primal are really impressing me. Far Cry has always done terrain and atmosphere well, but Ubisoft takes it to a whole new level for Primal. Multiple times I’ve found myself just stopping, jaw-dropped, in the middle of a scene and soaking up my surroundings. A lush forest dappled in well rendered light and shade. A hidden fog-blanketed valley brimming with the calls of countless wild birds and animals. And night time in the forest is both scary and wondrous at the same time. More predators come out to hunt you, but so do the glowing flowers and insects to dazzle you. Just awesome! The Primal landscape looks and feels untouched and is an absolute thing of beauty.
Taking the series back to prehistory; taking us back to prehistory, was a risky maneuver for Ubisoft Montreal, and I reckon it’s paid off. With so many franchises going stale over time and with most developers going all “future cop” on us to battle that syndrome, going backwards seemed inevitable at some point. So much of what Far Cry is as a series works very well in this context, and after the couple of hours I’ve spent with it so far, I’m keen to see more. We’ll get back to you with a full review when we’re finished clubbing our foes.
Check out some gameplay from the first couple of hours below.